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Exposé (band)

Exposé is an American vocal group. Primarily consisting of lead vocalists Ann Curless, Jeanette Jurado, and Gioia Bruno, the group was popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s, their first seven singles reaching the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, including the 1988 #1 hit "Seasons Change." The group actively toured and recorded music from 1985 to 1995, then retired from recording and public performances until 2003.

History

Formation of the group and original members (1984–1986)

Exposé was initially formed in 1984 when Lewis Martineé, a Miami disc jockey and producer, and his Pantera Productions talent scouts hired Sandra Casañas ("Sandeé"), Alejandra Lorenzo ("Alé"), and Laurie Miller as the group's lineup They originally called themselves X-Posed. The next year, the trio recorded "Point of No Return" (with Lorenzo singing lead) for Pantera Records as a 12" vinyl single under the name X-posed., which became a number one Billboard Hot Dance Club Play hit. The song helped to introduce a still-popular genre of music that became known as Freestyle, which often features keyboard riffs, a sing-along chorus and electro funk drum patterns in the music arrangement. The success of "Point of No Return" quickly led Exposé to their signing with Arista Records, who promptly assumed distribution of the 12" vinyl single. A year later, Exposé recorded and released their second club/dance Freestyle hit 12" vinyl single entitled "Exposed to Love" (with Lorenzo singing lead). These songs were released during the period when radio began airing continuous mixes of House/Club/Dance songs in major markets. As such, Exposé realized continued success, including a club tour to key cities. Impressed with the performance of the two singles and their unique sound, Arista granted approval for the group to record their first album.

Personnel changes (1986)

Shortly thereafter, Casañas left the group to pursue a solo career, and Lorenzo quit to pursue other ambitions; they were replaced by Jeanette Jurado (born November 14, 1965, Pico Rivera, CA) and Gioia Carmen Bruno (born in Bari, Italy, on June 11, 1963, but raised in New Jersey). Before the completion of their debut album, Miller left the group due to personal and business problems and began a solo career; she was replaced by Ann Curless (born October 7, 1964, Albany, NY).

Casañas (Sandeé) later resurfaced as a solo artist and released a solo album, which garnered the club hits "You're The One" and the Clivilles & Cole-produced bassline-heavy hit "Notice Me." Alé Lorenzo returned to the club charts with "Stop Me if I Fall in Love," while Laurie Miller evolved into a cabaret-style performer frequently showcasing her talents on luxury cruises with a more intimate jazz style. All three original members later appeared doing vocals in several tracks of the successful Miami group Will to Power in 1988 album of the same name with Alé in tracks 1-2-4-6-9-10; Sandeé in 4-9-10; and Laurie leading on track 1 "Dreaming". Gioia also remade this song for the Will to Power's 2005 Spirit Warrior CD after regaining her ability to sing under the title "Dreaming (Again)".

Exposure (1986–1988)

Toward the end of 1986, Exposé released their debut album Exposure (which still consisted of background vocals done by the original members). Led by the huge pop/dance hit "Come Go with Me," Exposé solidified their Freestyle music foundation to the masses. During the summer of 1987, a re-recorded version of "Point of No Return" was released, with Jurado performing lead vocals. While the initial distribution of Exposure to suppliers contained the original 1984 version of that song, subsequent pressings contained the new version. "Let Me Be the One," a mid-tempo soulful track with Bruno on lead, marked interesting distinctions for the trio. First, it demonstrated that despite being a "girl group" (a term which historically identifies a single lead singer), Exposé alternated lead vocals among its members. Second, the single garnered significant R&B support, with Bruno integrating soulful inflections with her vocal delivery. Their biggest hit occurred in the winter of 1988 with the Billboard Hot 100 number one single "Seasons Change," along with that came a Soul Train Award nomination for Best New Artist, television appearances on Solid Gold, Showtime at the Apollo, and The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers and served as the opening act for Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam during their national tour. Exposure remains one of the most successful dance albums ever released, reaching triple platinum status.

Exposé also performed backing vocals on Kashif's 1987 Arista album, "Love Changes," on the track, "Who's Getting Serious?"

During their peak, Exposé endured legal issues behind the scenes. Similar to the girl groups of the sixties, the members of Exposé had a restrictive contract, and there were reports in the media of backstage battles. According to Bruno, they were only paid 200 dollars per show.. Reportedly, the record label intervened to keep peace between the members and the producers. Despite this intervention, the members filed a lawsuit and ultimately settled their legal case for a renegotiated contract.

What You Don't Know (1989–1990)

Their second album, What You Don't Know (1989), went Gold. The success of Exposé in the U.S. led to similar girl groups being created by producers and existing ones being signed to labels, such as Company B, The Cover Girls, Sweet Sensation, Pajama Party, and Seduction. Shortly after the success of the singles "What You Don't Know"), "When I Looked at Him" (Jurado on lead vocals), the release of the single "Tell Me Why" (Bruno on lead vocals) made music history for the group when they became the first girl group to have 7 back-to-back Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. "Tell Me Why" addressed the issue of street gangs and youth and rewarded the group with additional praise for its socially-conscious lyrics. "Your Baby Never Looked Good in Blue" (Jurado on lead vocals) and "Stop, Listen, Look & Think" (Curless on lead vocals) soon followed afterwards. Their continued success granted Exposé their first headlining tour and continued television appearances on Soul Train, The Pat Sajak Show, and The Byron Allen Show, among others.

Exposé performed backing vocals on Barry Manilow's 1990 Arista album, "Because It's Christmas," on the track "Jingle Bells."

In August 1990, while touring with Exposé, Bruno began having throat problems - later linked to a benign tumor on her vocal cords - and which caused the group to cut the tour short. The group took time off from their schedule in hopes that she would recover. Ultimately, Bruno lost her voice, and could not sing at all for several years—she also had to keep talking to a minimum. Ultimately, she was replaced by Kelly Moneymaker in 1992, though she later rejoined the group after entirely regaining her voice in 2003

Exposé (1992–1995)

After Kelly Moneymaker joined Exposé, the group released their third album Exposé, which integrated more adult-contemporary material in addition to their established Freestyle, house, R&B, pop, and love ballad repertoire. It was the first album to use producers besides Martineé, with Clive Davis taking over as Executive Producer and Martineé only doing four songs. The album was aimed to demonstrate musical growth for the group as well as to compete with the success of Wilson Phillips, who had great success in 1990 with their debut album.

The album was not as commercially successful as their previous albums, and several singles fared better on the adult-contemporary charts. They did manage to crack the U.S. Top 40 pop chart with "I Wish the Phone Would Ring" and "I'll Never Get Over You (Getting Over Me)", which also reached #1 on the adult-contemporary chart (Jurado performing lead vocals). Subsequent releases "As Long as I Can Dream" and "In Walked Love", featured Curless in the lead vocal spotlight. A final, club-marketed single saw the release of the group's first remake. "I Specialize in Love" featured Jurado on lead with Curless and Moneymaker each supporting lead vocals towards the song's conclusion. The original version was performed by Sharon Brown. Among their television appearances during this period include Live with Regis and Kathie Lee and the Brazilian actress/singer children's show, Xuxa.

In 1995, Exposé recorded the Diane Warren-penned song "I'll Say Good-Bye for the Two of Us" for the soundtrack of the film Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home with Jurado performing lead vocals; that same year, the song was issued on their Greatest Hits. The song is distinctive for the group as Jurado performs solo without backing vocals.

Label inactivity and solo projects

Toward the end of 1995, Arista dropped the group, and the members disbanded at the beginning of 1996 to pursue their own projects. However, over time, labels part of licensing music from the Sony/BMG group have released two other variations of greatest hits collections, as well as a collection of popular remixes from their 12-inch singles, including the extended versions of the original "Point of No Return" (Lorenzo on lead vocals) and "Exposed to Love."

After the group disbanded, Jurado performed in the stage play "Mad Hattan," supplied vocals for Contemporary Jazz guitartist Nils and Safe Sax; Moneymaker married soap opera actor Peter Reckell and released two solo albums (Like a Blackbird and Through These Basement Walls); Curless engaged in song writing, supplied vocals to several club/dance projects and also provided academic instruction on music and the music business. Eventually, both Jurado and Curless married and had children, temporarily retiring from performing.

In 1997, Bruno fully recovered from her throat tumor and began singing again. After a small stint with the band Wet, she worked on a solo career focused mostly on dance-oriented material. Her first album, Expose This, was released in the spring of 2004.

The reuniting of Exposé

After a long hiatus, on August 1, 2003, the lineup of Curless, Jurado, and Moneymaker, reunited briefly for a reunion concert at the Mid State Fair in Paso Robles, California. Members of Safe Sax, including music director/guitarist Steve Fansler, were part of the live band Exposé used. While there was a desire to do more shows, according to Moneymaker they were unable to gets things active at that time.

In the year 2006, Jurado announced on MySpace they had signed with a major booking agency, and Bruno announced she was back with Exposé for the first time in 15 years. Moneymaker has stated she might fill in for any member who may not be available, or to appear with the full lineup on special occasions.

On October 21, 2006, Exposé kicked off their tour at American Airlines Arena in Miami for the "Freestyle Explosion" concert, with the lineup of Ann Cureless, Jeanette Jurado, and Gioia Bruno (who, had fully regained her voice in 1997. In the years from 1997 until 2005, she'd decided to concentrate on a solo career, as well as singing in the band "Wet"). On November 29, 2006, at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino Northern Lights Theater in Milwaukee, Exposé performed a 16 song show with a full band lead by Steve Fansler, marking their first full concert together with Bruno since 1990. Other noted appearances included sets at gay pride events throughout the country. The group continues to perform at special events throughout the United States.

In December 2007, Exposé was named in a lawsuit by Crystal Entertainment and Filmworks. At issue is the trademark licensing agreement for the rights to use the name "Exposé..

Discography

Albums

Compilations

  • 1995: Greatest Hits
  • 1999: Master Hits
  • 2001: The Encore Collection: Seasons Change
  • 2002: Exposé's Greatest Dance Mixes
  • 2005: Dance Mixes

Singles

Year Single Chart positions Lead vocals Album
U.S. U.S. dance U.S. dance sales U.S. R&B U.S. AC UK
1985 "Point of No Return" 1 10 Alé Lorenzo Exposure
1986 "Exposed to Love" - 2 10 Alé Lorenzo
1987 "Come Go With Me" 5 1 2 14 Jeanette Jurado
"Point of No Return" (re-recorded version) 5 40 83 Jeanette Jurado
"Let Me Be the One" 7 2 13 29 76 Gioia Bruno
1988 "Seasons Change" 1 32 27 1 97 Jeanette Jurado
1989 "What You Don't Know" 8 2 8 99 Gioia Bruno What You Don't Know
"When I Looked at Him" 10 3 Jeanette Jurado
"Tell Me Why" 9 3 26 97 Gioia Bruno
1990 "Your Baby Never Looked Good in Blue" 17 9 Jeanette Jurado
"Stop, Listen, Look & Think" 19 Ann Curless
1992 "I Wish the Phone Would Ring" 28 14 Jeanette Jurado Exposé
1993 "I'll Never Get Over You Getting Over Me" 8 1 75 Jeanette Jurado
"As Long as I Can Dream" 55 21 Ann Curless
"In Walked Love" 84 17 Ann Curless
1995 "I Specialize in Love" 6 20 Jeanette Jurado
"I'll Say Good-Bye for the Two of Us" 117 Jeanette Jurado Greatest Hits

References

External links

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